Meet Siham Arif, Manager - Commerce at Publicis Media
Siham started her career at Publicis Media as a Media Planner on the Procter & Gamble account. She then transitioned to P&G’s digital content platform, Everydayme Arabia, as an Account Manager overseeing the site launch, user acquisition and measurement, collaborating with various practices from the group. Soon, she took over P&G’s e-commerce planning and activations. Today, Siham is the account lead for P&G, Mondelez, and Beiersdorf commerce clients, working with a team of six account executives and performance specialists. She is also the Retailers and Marketplaces Lead, working on fostering agency relations with the top retailers in the region with JBPs and agreements.
Why did you join this industry?
The great thing about media is that we work across industries. A few years in this field can make us experts on anything, from diapers to smartphones.
How did you land your first job?
All through college, Publicis was one of the agencies we heard about the most. I interviewed at Publicis right after graduation and was lucky enough to be selected.
Who do you look up to?
Richard Branson because his life philosophy resonates most with me: do good, have fun, make money.
What’s the best advice you have received so far?
At work, it’s to just start. Start that big project, start that review deck, start that analysis. Some- times we get so overwhelmed by the idea of the perfect deliverable that we keep procrastinating. And that slows down growth and limits your potential.
What’s the best advice you have given so far?
The best advice I have given someone is to start yoga. Yoga helps release all kinds of physical, mental, and emotional stresses and was the reason for my sanity during the initial lockdown adjustment in 2020.
How do you feel about the stigma sometimes associated with Millennials and Gen Z?
Every generation has problems and it would be foolish to say that we are perfect. Some of the stigma associated with our generation is warranted, such as delaying gratification and impatience. But we are also the generation that wants to change the world and can, if we address these tendencies.
What do you think you specifically bring to the organization you work for?
A modern approach to team management. My relationship with my team is dynamic and empowering. It’s important to adapt one’s management style to the individual, and I make sure that I empower every member of my team to make mistakes and learn while having my support.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned at work?
It’s always better to over-communicate than under-communicate with clients.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?
Seeing your hard work come to life in the form of new business or excellent implementation of complex strategies.
What’s the most frustrating thing about your job?
The stark difference in the speed at which agency capabilities grow and the speed at which clients grow. A big part of our day-to-day jobs is to educate clients on the new technologies, but clients are not always ready to adapt to new ways of doing things.
If not this, what would you be doing?
I would be a serial entrepreneur who would have started a digital agency, a grocery store, and a restaurant by age 30.